In the final installment of a two-part series, it is time for a review of the pitchers selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008. Of the 51 players taken by the Cardinals in the First-Year Player Draft this June, 27 were pitchers.
Overall, the organization has to be pleased with the play of its selections. One pitcher, a late round selection, made it all the way to High Class-A to help Palm Beach with its playoff run. One held his own in the Midwest League while four more would finish their first professional season in full-season ball.
Many of the draft picks helped Batavia win its first-ever New York-Penn League Championship while others helped Johnson City stay in the playoff hunt and put together their best season in years.
The Cardinals recognized a deficiency in left-handed arms in their farm system and addressed it during this past June's draft. Of the 22 pitchers that signed, six were southpaws. (Of the five pitchers that the organization were not able to come to terms with, three were left-handed).
Below, to the right of each player's name is the round in which he was drafted. Picks are listed in numerical order by the round selected.
Lance Lynn (1S)
The former Ole Miss Rebel showed why the Cardinals made him the 39th overall pick. In his first stop with Batavia, Lynn posted an ERA under one while striking out 22 in 18.2 innings. It was then on to the Midwest League where he made two starts for the Quad Cities. In eight innings of work, he allowed only two earned runs while striking out seven.
Lynn was shut down at the end of August with forearm tightness.
Scott Gorgen (4)
The undersized right-hander out of UC-Irvine was outstanding in his debut at Batavia. The 5-foot-10 right-hander struck out 60 batters in 54.1 innings during while the opposition managed only a .186 average against him. Gorgen allowed only a 2.32 ERA in 14 appearances including six starts.
Eric Fornataro (6)
The unheralded right-hander impressed in his first showing in the Cardinals' organization. Fornataro posted a sharp 1.74 ERA in 31 innings while with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals before moving to the Appalachian League. With Johnson City, he notched a 2.75-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio. In seven innings in Tennessee, the opposition managed only a .172 average against him.
Anthony Ferrara (7)
Florida native showed his dominance on the hill with 36 strikeouts in 30
innings. In 10 appearances,
Ryan Kulik (8)
southpaw made a quick stop in
Scott McGregor (15)
The former Memphis Tiger struggled out of the gate, allowing five runs, three earned, during four innings in the Gulf Coast League. McGregor was then promoted to Johnson City where he proved his mettle against the hitters of the Appalachian League. The right-hander allowed an anemic 0.33 in 27 innings. He would strikeout 20 compared to only three walks while posting a groundball to fly ball ratio of nearly two-to-one.
Aggressive as usual, the organization promoted McGregor to the Quad Cities where he more than held his own. In three appearances out of the River Bandits' bullpen, he allowed a 2.84 ERA against the advanced hitters.
Miguel Flores (16)
Flores turned in an impressive debut season in professional baseball. The six-foot right-hander made 12
appearances in the GCL while posting an ERA of 3.19. The 20-year-old was then promoted to
Joshua Hester (17)
The right-hander out of Freed Hardeman was much better out of the bullpen. As a starter, Hester posted an ERA over five while the opposition hit .325 against him. When coming on in relief, he posted a 3.32 ERA while striking out 22 in 21.2 innings.
Jared Bradford (18)
After being eliminated from the College World Series with his LSU Tigers, Bradford was assigned to the Quad Cities for his professional debut. The former Bayou Bengal proved he could handle the assignment by finishing with a 3.20 ERA and almost two-to-one groundball to fly ball ratio.
Jonny Bravo (23)
The southpaw made 10 appearances including three starts for the Johnson City Cardinals. It was coming out of the bullpen where Bravo found left his mark. In 24 innings of relief, Bravo struck out 34 while holding the opposition to a .191 average.
Zach Pitts (24)
The former Louisville Cardinal proved better as a starter than a reliever for Batavia. Pitts did not earn a victory but was charged with four hard-luck defeats. Even so, the right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA while holding the opposition to a .207 average.
Jason Buursma (25)
submariner teamed with
George Brown (27)
The New York native did not have to leave his home state with a debut assignment at Batavia. For the Muckdogs, Brown struck out 47 in 47.1 innings while posting a 3.42 ERA. In 11 appearances out of the bullpen, the southpaw posted a 2.66 ERA while being credited with three saves.
Matt Frevert (28)
The former Missouri State Bear started his season off at Johnson City where he was a valuable piece of the Cardinals' bullpen. In 19.1 innings, Frevert struck out 23 while posting a 3.26 ERA. The right-hander did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground with a 1.62-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio.
The organization then skipped him a level with a promotion to the Quad Cities. In three appearances for the River Bandits, Frevert did not allow a run in four innings of relief.
Samuel Freeman (32)
being drafted by the Cardinals for a second straight season, Freeman quickly
made a name for himself. Working at
Kevin Thomas (33)
groundball machine, Thomas posted a 2.41-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio. The product of Stephen F. Austin allowed
a 2.65 ERA in 10 games including four starts for
Chris Notti (36)
At 20 years of age, Notti was his team's most consistent starter and was awarded The Birdhouse's GCL Starter of the Year award for his effort. He tied for second on the team in innings pitched while posting a 3.20 ERA in 13 games.
Dan Richardson (38)
The native of Bear, Delaware, had to find the New York-Penn League bearish in his professional debut. In 19 games out of the bullpen, he was tagged with a 7.85 ERA. His struggles centered on control with 18 walks compared to nine strikeouts in 18.1 innings of relief.
On a positive note, Richardson forced a 1.88-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio.
Kevin Siegrist (41)
Showed flashes of potential while playing in the Gulf Coast League. The southpaw allowed only a .070 average against while posting a 1.38 ERA. Siegrist struck out 11 in 13 innings and retired all 12 left-handed batters he faced.
Santo Maertz (44)
Won four games out of the Johnson City bullpen. Maertz struck out 25 hitters in 20 innings while posting a 3.15 ERA. In six games in August, the right-hander posted an ERA under one while holding the opposition to a .219 average.
Adam Prange (48)
Take out a couple rough outings in July and Prange had a superb rookie season in the GCL. Unfortunately, Prange finished with an ERA close to seven and walked more batters, 13, than he struck out, nine. The 6-foot-6 right-hander did tie for the team lead with three saves while finishing strong with a 1.93 ERA in August.
Adam Veres (49)
The right-hander saved his best for last. In the rubber match to gain a spot in the New York-Penn League Championship, Veres pitched seven innings of one run baseball while striking out seven to clinch the victory. Over two levels, the 20-year-old finished with three wins and a 3.32 ERA. In 43.1 innings, he struck out 58 batters.
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Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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